There aren’t many bitter rivalries in cricket as Australia versus England. In an ideal scenario, cheering for England as an Australian is a strict no. But Joe Root’s side will be cheered by the Australian cricket fraternity when they take on India in the final Test at Ahmedabad.
Only an England victory in Ahmedabad can pave Australia’s path to the final of the inaugural ICC World Test Championship (WTC) against New Zealand. An England defeat or a draw would see India sealing the berth for the mega event in June.
The Australian side are currently touring their trans-Tasman neighbors New Zealand for a five-T20I series. But even then, they will be hooked on to the proceedings in India.
“Bit of self-interest there, isn’t it? For us, following England for the first time in a long time. We’ll be hoping that they can do the job there,” Australia’s assistant coach Andrew McDonald told reporters in Wellington on Tuesday.
It’s going to be difficult for England: Andrew McDonald
England’s hopes for qualifying for the WTC final were crushed last week after they suffered a 10-wicket defeat inside two days in the third Test at Ahmedabad. The Test saw 30 wickets fall in five sessions, out of which the spinners claimed 28.
The pitch has been at the center of criticism, and McDonald reckons it will be tough for England to beat India in the spin-battle.
“It’s going to be difficult, no doubt. Some of the surfaces they’ve played on are conducive to spin bowling, and probably India’s strengths are in their ability to play spin as well. We wish (England) well, see what unfolds. It’s out of our hands, but we’ll be watching on with interest,” added McDonald, who has stepped into Australia’s head coach’s role in the absence of Justin Langer for the New Zealand series.
Australia will be hosting England for the Ashes at the end of this year. Australia reclaimed the urn at home in 2017-18, and a drawn series in 2019 saw them retain it in England.